The Fearless Living Challenge: The First Week

I’m challenging myself to scare myself everyday for the next year. Want to know more about it? Check out this post describing it and my tips on how to be fearless.

I scared myself during the week of my birthday. Luckily, I live to tell about it…

July 18th – Swam in the ocean. The ocean is a scary place; especially when you can barely swim. I’ve always had a major fear of water and never thought I would be facing that fear on my birthday. After all, I didn’t exactly plan to make the date of my death synonymous with the date of my birth.  I was very content splashing around near the shore while my husband very daringly  jumped over waves much deeper than I was. Of course, my he had other plans for me. I screamed every time he dried to take me deeper and deeper. Every added inch in the ocean was terrifying to me considering I wasn’t a great swimmer and barely 5 feet tall. I soon realized with a lifeguard there, a bit of common sense and the practice of caution I was fine. Not only was I jumping and splashing around deeper than I’ve ever been, but I soon started swimming with waves. I was so happy I plunged head first into my fearless challenge and the ocean. I guess it pays to have an adventurous husband.

July 19thGambled on the dollar slots. Every time I go to Atlantic City, I spend most of my time lounging at the pool because I never saw the point of throwing away hard earned money. Most importantly, I was always afraid of losing all my money and suddenly not be able to pay bills. If I did gamble, I would headd straight to the penny slots. Well, this time I took a big risk. I gambled on the dollar slot machines with the fear that I would lose all my money. Well, in this case my biggest fear was confirmed. I gambled with $5 and lost every cent of it. Granted I lost my money, it certainly wasn’t the end of the world. I don’t see myself ever gambling on the dollar slots again, but at least I can say I tried.

July 20th – Let loose and went pole dancing. I’m a trained dancer. I’ve been doing ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and more for the past 18

Demonstrating my pole skills at Pole 2 Pole Fitness in Woodbridge, NJ
Demonstrating my pole skills at Pole 2 Pole Fitness in Woodbridge, NJ

years. Yet, I’ve never allowed myself to do something a little more challenging. Sure, I’ve tried zumba but it comes with ease to someone like me who’s been following fast paced choreography for the majority of her life. My eyes set on pole dancing a while ago, but quickly dismissed when I realized the amount of skill these vertical gymnasts displayed on those poles. I was convinced I would fall flat on my face and never be able to dance again. However, when I finally took the plunge with my friends I realized I was actually pretty good at it. The teacher even told me she was surprised it was my first time. It was so much fun, I think I might become a certified pole dance instructor!

July 21st – Got up close and personal with a deer. I love deer. They are just so cute and cuddly. I’ve secretly always wanted to have one as a pet. I really could stare at deer all day. Yet, I was always afraid to get near them, which makes sense considering they are wild animals. However, I was so disappointed in myself when I saw one in a park one day and was too afraid to take a picture of it. This past weekend, while visiting Thompson Park in Monroe, NJ I faced my fear head on. Within the park there is a zoo with peacocks, turkeys, pigs, and my beloved deer. Even though, there were several children and parents along the fence looking at deer, I was way too afraid to get close. When I saw them feeding the deer through the fence, I thought they about lost their mind. I was very content admiring my fury friends from afar. It sounds silly, but it took a lot of rationalizing and coaxing from my husband to just do it. I hissed at the deer to come close and reached out with a piece of grass and carrots. Much to my surprise, it didn’t try to attack me or bite my hand through the fence!

July 22nd – Demanded my money from a client. Being a self-employed writer has it’s perks. I have flexible hours, get to exercise my creativity everyday, and learn something new on a regular basis. I also have full control over the money I make… that is until a client stands me up. I did an assignment back in May for a client that consisted of writing an informational booklet for his office. Before, working on it,  I drafted a contract stating that I would need a 50% deposit upfront and the remaining balance upon delivery. Well, I got the deposit very quickly, and completed the assignment by the due date discussed to which the client acknowledged receipt. Before, I send my final invoice I like to contact the client to find out if it was done to satisfaction, if changes were required etc. After a week or two, I hadn’t heard anything in regards to my project or payment. Even though I deserved the money, I was afraid of starting a confrontation and possibly losing a client so the balance went unpaid for a while without any mention. Well, I finally re-sent my invoice along with our contract highlighting the portion about payment terms and possible interest. While I still haven’t heard from the client as yet in regards to payment, I feel a bit relieved knowing that I finally stood up for my best interset.

July 23rdPromote my ebook. Months ago I ordered postcards advertising my latest ebook, 100 Things You Should Always Say – Dream Catcher Edition. Unfortunately, I haven’t don’t anything with them since they’ve been purchased which means I wasted my money. I was so afraid of passing them out and getting rejected or putting them on the people’s cars in the parking lot only to get yelled at that they just stayed in the box collecting dust for months. Well, today, I finally did something about it. While waiting for my husband to pick me up I made a bold move. I decided to place my postcards on car windshields of the movie theatre parking lot. Much to my surprise no one tore up the postcards in my face upon returning to their car and no one yelled telling me that I was breaking the law. In fact, nothing happened proving that I was once again scared for nothing. I only hope that as I spread postcards around, it will eventually lead to more sales of my ebook.

July 24th: Reconnect with old friends.  Contrary to the image of myself on this blog, I am not a very outgoing person. I always had just a handful of friends and never did well making more of them. I’m the girl who keeps to herself and always forgotten. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’ve been scared about rekindling a relationship with old friends of mine for months. I was so scared of the rejection and extremely nervous they would think I’m a loser or want nothing to do with me even after all these years. But I still really longed to catch up with them again even though I was extremely nervous. Well, today I finally did something about it. I sent out a Facebook event notice for a reunion of “The Sweetest Suite.” (That’s what we called ourselves!) I haven’t gotten any responses from them yet, but at least I put myself out there.

Aside from the ocean bit, I think I went a bit easy this week. Maybe I’ll step up the challenge for next week…

Can you identify with any of these fears? How did you handle them?

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  1. Hi Terri, first of all, happy belated birthday!

    Second, congratulations on facing your fears. Even if you feel that they might be small and that you might be going easy on yourself, a victory is a victory. Even small ones add up.

    I’m currently facing several fears on a regular basis. Fear of standing up to a certain someone. But I’ve been speaking my mind and facing the consequences. I also have a fear of making deeper friendships. I moved around constantly as a child and always had to leave friends behind. Getting super close to people is not part of my natural wiring. But I made an “artists date” with someone I recently met. We’ll see how that goes. Eventually, I’d like to face my fear of heights and actually go up in the Seattle Waterwalk Ferris Wheel. I’ll get there. Not today, but sometime soon.

    1. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes. I really had a great day. And the encouragement in regards to my fear means a lot. I still think I’m a bit crazy for doing this and committing to it, but I know it will be beneficial in the long run. For now I’m definitely starting small. Although, today I’ve already tackled one of my biggest fears of all.

      And I can totally relate to the friendship issues. I’ve always been a very private person and never let anyone get close. I’m really trying to let go of that.

      Thanks for reading. Wishing you lots of luck tackling your fears and standing up to that certain someone.

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